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Advanced Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Techniques

Michael Bazzell | August 1-2


This interactive training identifies and demonstrates multiple free online resources that break through traditional search roadblocks. Participants will be shown how to "dig" into the internet for personal information about any target. While popular sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are covered in detail (including techniques that legally access some "hidden" content), the presentation goes much deeper into the vast resources available for researching personal information.

Aside from social networks, other technologies such as meta-data, reverse cellular info extraction, mobile app exploitation, and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will be explained. All resources can also be used to conduct thorough background checks on potential employees or to locate client vulnerabilities. All resources can be applied to domestic and international investigations. Many custom tools will be shared with the audience for free lifetime use. A custom Linux operating system pre-configured for immediate use will be provided.

Among many other techniques, the attendees will learn how to:

  • Conduct advanced search queries across dozens of resources simultaneously
  • Access content believed to be private on Facebook
  • Locate a target's long forgotten Facebook activity
  • Access restricted information through cached results
  • Conduct thorough searches on all social networks
  • Monitor live content and communication on social networks
  • Search geo-location data within Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram streams
  • Recover Twitter posts from deleted and manipulated accounts
  • Identify users of private cellular telephone numbers from social networks
  • Retrieve subscriber information from any landline or cellular telephone number
  • Reverse-search photographs for additional copies and details
  • Search historical deleted versions of websites
  • View multiple historic satellite images and street views of any location
  • Identify cropped and manipulated photographs
  • Identify all social networks in use by target username
  • Use custom browser extensions to simplify online research and data collection
  • Use custom Python scripts to export entire Twitter and Instagram accounts
  • Use Android Emulators to exploit content only available in apps
  • Create custom USB operating systems to always have a clean investigation environment

The software session will demonstrate over 40 free software tools that will aid an internet searcher during any type of investigation. Custom portable web browsers will be given to each participant that include pre-configured plugins that add new search features. These include automated reverse image location, media download, screen capture, script blocking, and many more. Custom JavaScript will automate several tasks while websites are displayed in the browser. Additionally, the browser is configured to block website analytics that can divulge sensitive information about the searcher.

Other software includes tools that clone websites, protect your true identity, locate Twitter media, recover deleted files, display historical versions of satellite mapping data, extract still images from videos, export video metadata, analyze document metadata, locate additional social networks, and archive complete YouTube accounts. Attendees will have full lifetime access to the entire collection of software demonstrated during the session.

The audience will also be shown how to use advanced technologies to assist with any type of research. Topics include identifying compromised email addresses, "spoofing" caller ID and email addresses, anonymous forwarding email addresses, anonymous forwarding phone numbers, identifying rental vehicle information, discovering someone's IP address, and more. All procedures will be explained from start to finish and links will be available to all participants.

The final session in this training will demonstrate a technique of creating custom bootable USB devices for investigations. This will start with customizing a Linux operating system to include the software necessary, exporting system image to a single file, and expanding that file onto the bootable USB 3.0 device. The final result will include a clean operating system that is ready for each investigation. There will be no contamination from one investigation to another and the process can be replicated an unlimited number of times.

Who Should Take this Course

  • Online Investigators
  • Penetration Testers
  • Risk Management Professionals
  • Military Personnel
  • Spooks

Student Requirements

A very basic understanding of internet searches and the presence of social networks.

What Students Should Bring

Nothing is required. Students are allowed to bring computer devices, but this is not mandatory for the course.

What Students Will Be Provided With

  • Complete updated digital list of all training links
  • Custom online search tools that automate many search processes
  • Pre-configured portable browsers with investigation extensions
  • Software pack of 40+ custom applications that aid in online investigation
  • Custom ISO of a complete investigation operating system
  • Over 25 unconventional online resources for digital investigations
  • All current powerpoints for all training sessions


Michael Bazzell spent 18 years as a government computer crime investigator. During the majority of that time, he was assigned to the FBI's Cyber Crimes Task Force where he focused on open source intelligence and computer crime investigations. As an active investigator for multiple organizations, he has been involved in numerous high-tech criminal investigations including online child solicitation, child abduction, kidnapping, cold-case homicide, terrorist threats, and high level computer intrusions. He has trained thousands of individuals in the use of his investigative techniques. Michael currently works and resides in Washington, D.C. He also serves as the technical advisor for the television hacker drama "Mr. Robot" on the USA network. His books "Open Source Intelligence Techniques" and "Hiding from the Internet" have been best sellers in both the United States and Europe. They are used by several government agencies as training manuals for intelligence gathering and securing personal information.